Patient Comments: Henoch-Schonlein Purpura - Experience

Please describe your experience with henoch-schonlein purpura.

Comment from: Christian, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: October 31

I was diagnosed with this when I was young, about 10 years old or so. I am now 23 and anytime I have a cold or virus I seem to get the very mild rash, not bumps just purple "spots" as my wife calls it on my feet and legs. I have been encouraged to have my blood drawn occasionally to check my kidneys. There is no apparent damage, I'm just wondering what others do.

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Comment from: GG, 3-6 Female (Caregiver) Published: May 17

My granddaughter is entering her 10th week of this terrible affliction called henoch-schonlein purpura. She is 6 years old and has constant stomachaches. Each time she has one good day, the cycle starts again. She has swollen and painful joints, severe stomach pain, and then a rash, which gets larger and covers more and more of her body, even on her face, ears, and in her mouth. There seems to be no end to her pain. The doctors do nothing for her and just suggest waiting it out. I give her Tylenol and Motrin for pain, but worry about even that damaging her stomach. I feel so helpless. She can't eat, and lost 8 pounds the first month. We took her into emergency twice, and the second time, the doctor didn't seem to know what to do and sent us home. When the rash gets so large, I worry about possible internal bleeding. Has anyone found a method of relief for this monster?

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Comment from: Boulder Mom, 7-12 Male (Caregiver) Published: September 25

My son was diagnosed with henoch-schonlein purpura (HSP) when he was five. He woke up one morning and told me his ankle was hurting and that he couldn't walk. There was a tiny pinkish spot in the ankle area. I asked him to recall what he had done the day before thinking that somehow it was just sore from some activity. He said he jumped out of a tree and may have bumped it. I carried him to Urgent Care to get a foot x-ray. As it turned out, there were no broken foot bones. As we waited, the small spot grew from a dime size to a quarter size. The doctor then ran a series of blood tests which came back showing that there was some type of non-specific inflammation in my son's body. He suspected that my son was having an arthritic reaction to the cold and stomach virus he had had the week before. He let us go home but called the Children's ER and informed them that we might show up if things worsened. Between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., the rash worsened. The red dots had grown together and were all over his ankles. His feet were swollen and very itchy. It was like the blood began to pool under his skin. He still couldn't walk. He also had areas with red dots on his torso, thighs, arms, and scalp. Basically all of his joints were aching and he had a horrible headache. Well, at about 10 p.m. I was picking him up and he screamed out in pain. I raised his shirt to find that his back was swollen the length of his spine. I literally freaked out and rushed him to the ER. By midnight, the ER docs diagnosed him with HSP. I think the Urgent Care doc would have diagnosed the HSP had the rash been more prominent earlier. My son stayed the night at the hospital. He couldn't walk for almost 2 weeks. He had to do weekly and then monthly urine tests to monitor whether the HSP was in his kidneys, but nothing ever showed up. He never had to take the Prednisone, just ibuprofen. My son is now 8 and I can still remember almost every detail of that frightening day. He has not had HSP again but every cold he gets worries me and I can assure you that I try to make sure he is always well rested (at least 10 hours of sleep a night) so that his immune system can better fight off viruses.

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Comment from: nm190, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: September 25

I'm 20 years old. when I was 17, I was diagnosed with henoch-schonlein purpura (HSP), first I developed a rash all over my legs, followed by a sore throat and my joints and mussels were so stiff and painful I couldn't walk. The hospital took a blood test and sent me home to wait for results. However, the next day I was in so much pain I went to see my local general practitioner who recognized the virus and diagnosed me. He said there was no medication and to rest myself. A week later my stomach was so bad with cramps I had to stay curled up on the couch unable to straighten myself. I couldn't even take a sip of water and I was vomiting. I remained like this for a week until I was admitted to hospital and put on a drip. It turned out I had a low immune system and was unable to fight it myself. Within two days at the hospital I was feeling much better and within a month I was back on track. I'm 20 now, and after a flight home from holiday last week, Icame down with some symptoms. First my legs, arms and back were aching, followed by stomach cramps, a sore throat and finally the rash all over my stomach. I went to my doctor and she prescribed me antibiotics for my throat and tablets for my joints. I'm only on my second day of medication and it is working wonders. It hasn't hit me that bad at all and I should be better by next week. She told me that chances were I would always be prone to HSP because I've had it once. Its just air-born and I cant prevent it. However, this has been a very mild spell!

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Comment from: Mommy, 3-6 Male (Caregiver) Published: September 10

My son was diagnosed with HSP at the age of 5. It was in September. It started with pain in his ankles followed by the rash and severe swelling. He had the rash from his waist down and also on his face and head. He was in extreme pain. I had to carry him everywhere because he could not stand on his feet. He also began to vomit blood and was hospitalized. Blood test showed that he had mono in his blood stream but he never showed symptoms of being sick with mono. This is what doctor's say triggered his HSP. After weeks of bruises and pain, it all cleared up. About two weeks later it all started over again. After this cleared, he has not had any more of those symptoms. His doctor did discover that he has a low immune system. The doctor says that he has the immune system of an infant. Today, my son is 7 years old and doing well, but for about a year he was in and out of the hospital and having blood work done weekly. This was the most scary time in mine and my husbands life.

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